June 09, 2009
First Round
Pick Team Player Pos. School Ht. Wt.
1 Stephen Strasburg RHP San Diego State 6-5 225
Baseball America: The Nationals do what they have to do and take Stephen Strasburg. Can you imagine an NFL or NBA draft with the No. 1 overall pick not on hand, though? Instead of being in Secaucus, N.J., at MLB Network's Studio 42, Strasburg is in Orange County at Scott Boras Corp. headquarters.
2 Dustin Ackley 1B/OF North Carolina 6-1 184
Baseball America: Dustin Ackley is the natural pick. He's the draft's best hitter, as good a runner as any legitimate college prospect and still has upside, as he's just learning to tap into his power. This is one time where Jack Zduriencik couldn't keep the secret. Ackley was just too good.
3 Donavan Tate OF Cartersville HS (GA) 6-3 200
Baseball America: The Padres have to hope Tate's an improvement over their recent first-round track record, from Tim Stauffer (2003) to Matt Bush (2004), to Matt Antonelli (2006) to Cesar Carrillo (2005), to Nick Schmidt (2007) and Allan Dykstra ('08). San Diego goes against type and takes a raw, high school outfielder whose bat might just be his weakest tool. That's partly a comment on his bat, which is raw, and partly a comment on how good the rest of his tools are.Tate's also a football recruit to North Carolina, so Tar Heels football coach Butch Davis can't be happy.
4 Tony Sanchez C Boston College 6-1 220
Baseball America: If you want to look for a catcher to be drafted high in 2010, look to the Atlantic Coast Conference. In 2007, it was Matt Wieters out of Georgia Tech. In 2008, it was Buster Posey out of Florida State. Now it's Tony Sanchez, who actually went higher than either one of them.
5 Matt Hobgood RHP Norco HS (CA) 6-4 245
Baseball America: The Orioles add to an already deep stable of pitching prospects. Hobgood came on really strong late in the draft. He was underrated for a lot of the year because, at 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds, Hobgood is already maxed out physically and has no room for projection. Scouts sometimes underrate those kinds of players and that was the case with Hobgood. Despite the lack of projection, his raw stuff is electric, with a fastball ranging from 90-94 mph and peaking at 95. He maintains his velocity deep into games, and in a March start he was firing four-seamers at 92-94 mph in the fifth inning. His curveball shows sharp, late break, and he also has shown a changeup and slider.
6 Zack Wheeler RHP East Paulding HS (GA) 6-4 175
Baseball America: We blogged about Wheeler being watched by Brian Sabean back in April, and two months later, the Giants take him. Wheeler has projection, he's got now stuff with a plus fastball and potential plus breaking ball, and he fits the Giants' playbook. This pick makes sense; it's somewhat surprising the Orioles didn't take him.
All spring, it was no secret that the Braves liked Wheeler. They have a long track record of plucking prepsters from their backyard and Wheeler looked like he would be the next in line. But the Giants swooped in and selected the pitcher from East Paulding High one pick before the Braves had the chance.
7 Mike Minor LHP Vanderbilt 6-4 195
Baseball America: It's an out-of-character pick for Atlanta in many ways, but the Braves believe in Minor, the 2008 Summer College Player of the Year. The Braves like the fact that Minor improved down the stretch when he took over the duties of calling his own pitches, and his cerebral approach should help him move quickly. Scouts who doubt Minor believe his stuff has flattened out in the last year or so and believe he's a fourth starter at best, with only plus pitchability and no true out pitch.
8 Mike Leake RHP Arizona State 6-0 180
Baseball America: Cincinnati surprises with Leake. The Reds played it close to the vest and took Tim Hudson clone Mike Leake out of Arizona State. Leake had a tremendous season to lead Arizona State to the College World Series, and if you dream on him, he has some David Cone in him due to his competitiveness. But those are both smallish pitchers, as is Leake. In terms of makeup, Leake would rank in the top five in the draft.
Still, the Reds went for a safer pick, rather than an upside pick, same as the Braves.
9 Jacob Turner RHP Westminster Christian Academy (MO) 6-5 210
Baseball America: Detroit has cast signability aside, as it did in 2005 (Cameron Maybin), 2006 (Andrew Miller) and 2007 (Rick Porcello).
Gotta love this pick -- Turner is the best prep righty in the draft for me. So now we've got three prep pitchers in the first nine.
10 Drew Storen RHP Stanford 6-2 175
Baseball America: The Nats stay true to form. Storen probably stays in the bullpen, and the last time the Nats took a reliever in the first round, it was Chad Cordero in 2003, and he worked out (for a while) for the Expos/Nats before getting hurt.
11 Tyler Matzek LHP Capistrano Valley HS (CA) 6-3 185
Baseball America: The Rockies take Matzek, the left-hander out of Capo Valley High in California, and no one thought that was happening. Matzek was No. 2 on some boards, and the Rockies will not be signing him quickly or easily. The word was out that he wants "precedent-setting money" and that would be more than $7 million.
Matzek was special down the stretch in the California sectional playoffs, hitting as high as 97 or 98 mph late in the season. He definitely had the highest ceiling left on the board; I'd be excited if I were a Rockies fan.
12 Aaron Crow RHP Fort Worth Cats (Independent) 6-3 195
Baseball America: The Royals take a Missouri guy in former Tigers ace Aaron Crow, who spent this spring with the Fort Worth Cats in the American Association. Crow's stock had been thought to be slipping, but the Royals stopped his fall.
By taking Crow, the Royals have taken a Fort Worth Cat for the second time in four years. Kansas City also took Luke Hochevar No. 1 overall after Hochevar spent his spring pitching for the independent team.
13 Grant Green SS USC 6-3 180
Baseball America: The buzz all day was that the A's were not going to run from tough signs, such as Tyler Matzek or Grant Green or Donavan Tate. Matzek and Tate are gone, so the A's opt for Green, a talented shortstop from USC.
14 Matt Purke LHP Klein HS (TX) 6-3 180
Baseball America: Purke and Tyler Matzek were the top two prep lefties all summer in 2008, and they maintained that status in 2009. Matzek went 11 to the Rockies, and Purke is now off the board at 14. He's got a 92-95 mph fastball at his best and has one of the draft's best sliders.
In other words, it's pretty good value at 14, if he's signable.
15 Alex White RHP North Carolina 6-3 200
Baseball America: Cleveland took a North Carolinian last year from "down east," as we say in Cack-a-lack, and did it again this year with Alex White.
White's from Greenville and was in the same high school year as Lonnie Chisenhall, Cleveland's first-rounder last year. The Indians take a pitcher in the first round for the first time since 2002 with Jeremy Guthrie.
16 Bobby Borchering 3B Bishop Verot HS (FL) 6-4 200
Baseball America: As rumored much of the spring, the Diamondbacks go with one of the biggest prep bats in the draft in Bobby Borchering. The Florida high school corner infielder may have to move off third base if his footwork doesn't improve, but he quickly becomes one of (if not the) best hitters in the Diamondbacks' thinned-out farm system.
Arizona still has five more picks in the first 64 picks, so don't look for Arizona to step out financially with the 17 pick.
17 A.J. Pollock OF Notre Dame 6-1 200
Baseball America: With higher-ranked talents on the board, the Diamondbacks go for Notre Dame outfielder A.J. Pollock, who had a great summer in the Cape Cod League last year.
Pollock was one of the safest college hitters in the draft, but most thought he'd last much longer than 17.
18 Chad James LHP Yukon HS (OK) 6-4 195
Baseball America: As rumored, Chad James goes at 18 to the Marlins. He's a left-handed pitcher, he's from Oklahoma (like Josh Johnson) -- the pieces all fit for Florida. Another prep pitcher, James is the third left-hander to go since pick No. 11, coming after Tyler Matzek at 11 and Matt Purke at 14.
19 Shelby Miller RHP Brownwood HS (TX) 6-3 195
Baseball America: Shelby Miller's $4 million-plus asking price doesn't scare off the Cardinals. Amidst local criticism of their farm system for lacking impact arms, the Cardinals take the Texas prep fireballer.
Seven of the first 19 picks are high school pitchers. Bill James called them "turkeys" in his Historical Abstract, but there are a lot of turkeys in the first round this year.
20 Chad Jenkins RHP Kennesaw State 6-4 225
Baseball America: The Jays take the Joe Blanton look-alike over lefty Rex Brothers. Jenkins improved his stock as much as any pitcher all year, and goes ahead of teammate Kyle Heckathorn, an impressive feat considering the hype Heckathorn had the last two years. Jenkins is the first pitcher the Jays have taken in the first round since Ricky Romero in '05, and the first college righty they've taken in the first round since Billy Koch in 1996.
21 Jiovanni Mier SS Bonita HS (CA) 6-2 170
Baseball America: Bold move by the Astros, who select prep shortstop Jiovanni Mier. Mier really burst on the scene last fall with a great performance with the ABD Bulldogs in the World Wood Bat Association tournament in Jupiter, Fla.
Mier is an up-the-middle player, one of the best defenders in the draft and a pick that was rumored this morning -- much (I'm sure) to Bobby Heck's chagrin. Neither Heck nor Jack Zduriencik could keep their secrets this year, somehow word still leaked out.
22 Kyle Gibson RHP Missouri 6-6 208
Baseball America: The Twins step out a bit and take injured Missouri right-hander Kyle Gibson. Kudos to the Twins, who could be getting a top-10 talent all the way down at 22.
The stress fracture in his throwing arm shouldn't be a huge factor long term, and Gibson had three average-to-plus pitches when he was healthy. This could be a great value pick for Minnesota, and it's a bold pick, but it may be more expensive than the slot at No. 22.
23 Jared Mitchell OF LSU 6-0 192
Baseball America: The White Sox go for Jared Mitchell, the LSU defensive back and right fielder. Mitchell projects as a center fielder, and if you haven't noticed, the White Sox haven't been happy with their center fielders lately. Can Mitchell withstand the fast track the White Sox put their prospects on? In the last week, Chicago has called up both of its last two first-round picks, in lefty Aaron Poreda and infielder Gordon Beckham.
24 Randal Grichuk OF Lamar Consolidated HS (TX) 6-0 185
Baseball America: We'd heard word that Randal Grichuk was going to go in the second half of the first round, but he'd been pegged to St. Louis and Houston, not the Angels. He's one of the better prep hitters available in the draft, and while some scouts weren't sold on the rest of his tools, he's fairly athletic and is an average runner presently. Still, he's getting drafted this high for his bat. He is the first player drafted who wasn't on our last revised Top 50.
25 Mike Trout OF Millville Senior HS (NJ) 6-1 195
Baseball America: Mike Trout, come on down. He's finally off the board, and falling no longer. Trout is on hand this year in Secaucus, N.J., and he looks pretty excited. It's hard to believe that this is the third year of the draft on TV, and the last two years, only one player has shown up. Aaron Hicks came last year, and Trout came this year. Trout had to wait a bit longer, 11 more picks than Hicks did.
The Angels have gone hard after hitters with a pair of outfielders (Grichuk and Trout).
26 Eric Arnett RHP Indiana 6-5 225
Baseball America: In a pick that is just too logical, the Brewers take the consensus top college pitcher on the board in right-hander Eric Arnett. Arnett's a big physical right-hander with a fresh arm and pro body. Arnett has low-90s stuff and can get more, and he's pretty good value at 26 for the Brewers. We had Trout going as high as 15 overall, giving one measure of the value Milwaukee is getting in its first draft post-Jack Z.
27 Nick Franklin SS Lake Brantley HS (FL) 6-1 170
Baseball America: Nick Franklin makes sense in a lot of ways for Seattle, which took him at No. 27 overall. He hit his way into the first round in Sebring, and there was some thought he could go higher. He's off the board as a solid-average hitter with ability to play shortstop, similar in tools to Aaron Hill, but with less power and more ability to play short.
28 Reymond Fuentes OF Fernando Callejo HS (PR) 6-0 160
Baseball America: The Red Sox went to Reymond Fuentes, surprising basically all of us. He's a left-handed hitter from Puerto Rico and the top player on the island. Fuentes' mother is Carlos Beltran's cousin, and he has some tools similar to those of Beltran. He started getting some first-round buzz of late, but he wasn't in our revised Top 50, and No. 54 on our Top 200.
29 Slade Heathcott OF Texas HS (TX) 6-1 196
Baseball America: Slade Heathcott gets a Josh Hamilton comparison from Frank Marcos of the ML Scouting Bureau, which frankly is not too accurate. But he does have major tools, with power from the left side, a big-time arm and some real makeup issues.
30 LeVon Washington 2B Buchholz HS (FL) 6-0 170
Baseball America: We had him at No. 29 on our board and Buchholz High's LeVon Washington went to the Rays at 30. They drafted him as a second baseman, but Washington also has the tools to play center field. One of the fastest players in the draft, Washington was a designated hitter for most of the spring after having labrum surgery.
31 Brett Jackson OF Cal 6-2 210
Baseball America: Jackson has five-tool ability and might be the best hitting prospect in the system after Josh Vitters (as soon as he signs). Of course, he also could be another Tyler Colvin. But at No. 31, the Cubs get solid value, considering the fact that Jackson was projected to go top-half of the first round earlier this season.
32 Tim Wheeler OF Sacramento State 6-4 205
Baseball America: Two Wheelers go in the first round, as outfielder Tim Wheeler joins unrelated Zach Wheeler. Tim Wheeler has big tools to go with his solid performance in the Cape Cod League last summer, and the big question is what position he plays. If he's a center fielder, then he's quite a value at 32. More likely, he's moving to a corner, which is why he fell to 32 and didn't go as high as we had him projected when he was No. 15 on our board.
So that's the first round. Five straight outfielders to end the first round in Fuentes, Heathcott, Washington, Jackson and Wheeler. Nine outfielders went in the first round, counting Dustin Ackley as an outfielder, as he was announced, with 16 pitchers going in the first round.
Sandwich Picks
Pick Team Player Pos. School Ht. Wt.
33 Steven Baron C John A. Ferguson HS (FL) 6-2 210
Baseball America: As rumored, the Mariners take Steven Baron, a prep catcher out of South Florida who was widely regarded as the top defender at the position in the draft. This breaks some hearts at Duke, as Baron was the top piece of their recruiting class, but Baron's catch-and-throw tools are premium, and his bat made all kinds of progress.
34 Rex Brothers LHP Lipscomb University 6-0 195
Baseball America: Colorado is suddenly having a very good draft. Tyler Matzek at 11, Tim Wheeler at 32 and now Rex Brothers at 34, giving the Rockies a big power arm. I'm a big Brothers believer. He may have a rough, short arm action and a modest track record, but he's got two 70 pitches on the 20-80 scale, and I see him as an impact closer down the line.
35 Matt Davidson 3B Yucaipa HS (CA) 6-3 210
Baseball America: Matt Davidson, the California version of Bobby Borchering with more power and less defensive ability, goes at No. 35 to the Diamondbacks. So now the D-backs have both Borchering and Davidson. Who will win? Two big prep sluggers who instantly bring power to an organization lacking it at all levels.
36 Aaron Miller LHP Baylor 6-3 220
Baseball America: Miller could be a coup if he becomes more consistent as a pitcher once he gives up hitting.
37 James Paxton LHP Kentucky 6-4 215
Baseball America: Paxton was very high on some boards, but didn't perform and has a history of nagging injuries. At times he has premium stuff with a mid-90s fastball and power breaking ball.
38 Josh Phegley C Indiana 5-11 215
Baseball America: Phegley has hit throughout his college career, but isn't known for defense and may have to move off catcher.
39 Kentrail Davis OF Tennessee 5-9 200
Baseball America: The Brewers will go head-to-head with Scott Boras Corp. at No. 39 with Tennessee outfielder Kentrail Davis. He had a tough year, but the draft-eligible sophomore entered the spring as one of the top five college bats in the draft class, and Milwaukee got him with its second pick. Gutsy pick with big upside.
40 Tyler Skaggs LHP Santa Monica HS (CA) 6-5 180
Baseball America: Tyler Skaggs is a SoCal prep lefty out of Samohi, as it's locally known, but an ankle injury pushed him into the territory the Angels could take him in the supplemental round. He was No. 26 on our board.
41 Chris Owings SS Gilbert HS (SC) 5-11 170
Baseball America: And at 41, South Carolina recruit Chris Owings goes out to the Diamondbacks, giving them a middle infielder with offensive upside. It's a big surprise that he went higher than fellow Gamecocks recruit Wil Myers, who has fallen, likely due to signability.
42 Garrett Richards RHP Oklahoma 6-3 200
Baseball America: The Angels take a second pitcher now in the supplemental pick after two hitters in the first round. First it was Skaggs, now it's Garrett Richards, who has a big arm but was erratic all spring. Richards climbed back into first-two-rounds consideration with a strong regional performance for Oklahoma.
43 Brad Boxberger RHP USC 6-2 195
Baseball America: The Reds pop Southern California right-hander Brad Boxberger, whose dad was a first-rounder in 1978. He's got a power arm, but profiles more as a reliever for most clubs.
44 Tanner Scheppers RHP St. Paul Saints (Independent) 6-4 200
Baseball America: The Rangers continue a high-reward, high-risk draft. They took a tough sign at No. 14 in Matt Purke, and now take Tanner Scheppers at No. 44 overall. This is a right-hander with stuff that ranked toward the front this year's draft and last year's. It makes sense for a team with a deep farm system to take some risks.
45 Mike Belfiore LHP Boston College 6-3 200
Baseball America: The Diamondbacks pick AGAIN -- their fifth pick -- and take left-hander Mike Belfiore, a personal favorite who might be stretched out as a starter in pro ball. Belfiore works off his fastball and slider but has thrown a changeup and curveball, as well. He was a backup choice for the Marlins and Twins in the first round and makes sense for the D-backs at 45.
46 Matt Bashore LHP Indiana 6-3 200
Baseball America: Indiana and Boston College have now both produced a first-rounder and a supplemental pick. That has never happened.
Matt Bashore, the Hoosiers left-hander, goes to the Twins after finishing strong. Bashore entered the year as a prominent prospect, fell off and then rallied. His fastball peaked at 95 mph this spring.
47 Kyle Heckathorn RHP Kennesaw State 6-6 240
Baseball America: The Brewers took Kyle Heckathorn out of Kennesaw State. Heckathorn had been rumored as a Brewers' first-round target at 26, but they surmised correctly that they could wait until a compensation pick, at 47. Heckathorn could move quickly if he's moved to the bullpen, as most scouts expect.
48 Tyler Kehrer LHP Eastern Illinois 6-3 210
Baseball America: Eastern Illinois' Tyler Kehrer goes at 48 to the Angels. He's our top-ranked player out of Illinois and holds his 90-93 mph velocity deep into games. The Angels now have taken three pitchers in the supplemental round.
49 Victor Black RHP Dallas Baptist University 6-4 204
Baseball America: The Pirates finish this college pitcher run with hard-throwing Victor Black, another college pitcher who can reach the mid-90s and might wind up as a reliever. He faced better competition than you'd think with Dallas Baptist, as he often pitched mid-week against Big 12 competition.

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